We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lovely hanging baskets - pity about the food”

The Three Swans Hotel
Price range: US$1 - US$80
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 25 August 2017

I was recently one of a group of nine retired people who stayed at the Three Swans for two nights for a university reunion. We chose Market Harboroughl for its central location, and the hotel because it could accommodate us all for the required dates and because it looked pleasant as portrayed on its website. Our rooms varied in size and appointments but all were adequate. The new section of the hotel at the rear was also well turned out, with beautiful hanging baskets in the courtyard. But if you enter off the High Street via the old pub the first impression is of a seedy, run-down old place; very off-putting. This needs fixing.

On our first evening (Monday) we all booked for dinner. The meal was so chaotic that it was hilarious in a Fawlty Towers sort of way. We were told the pie of the day was fish pie, which a few of us were interested in, then when we came to order the waiter announced that there was only one fish pie available - literally THE pie of the day! So I changed to pan fried cod, only to be informed that it was in fact pan fried salmon, so I changed to smoked cod poached with a cheese crust, only to be told that THAT was also salmon. At this point we were all falling about laughing as I changed to lamb rump, after checking that that wasn't salmon instead. I was tempted to ask for a Waldorf salad to see what happened - 'sorry Sir but we're fresh out of Waldorfs. Would you like a British salmon salad instead?'Five minutes later the waiter returned full of apologies to say that there was only one lamb rump left, but two of us had ordered it, so could one please change. My wife sacrificed her lamb and had gammon steak and finally all was settled. But when the food started arriving, things continued to go wrong. Someone who had actually ordered salmon got a white fish that looked and tasted suspiciously like cod after all. The solitary fish pie was disappointingly dry and tasteless. One courageous soul who had ordered Thai green curry was given a bowl of courgette chunks in a tasteless grey/green sauce with a few bits of chicken (for which he had to pay extra!). Other things were late, or unappealing, though to be fair my lamb rump was OK. At this point we called for the manager and pointed out that things had gone well beyond a joke. He sort of apologised, though insisting that the fish served was salmon that had turned white because it had been poached (Basil Fawlty would have been proud of that one) and offered us free desserts and coffees. And to be fair the cheeseboard that several of us had as dessert was very good. But then at breakfast the following morning they ran out of - progressively - eggs, mushrooms and bread and we had to hang about for 10 minutes or so waiting for new supplies! Priceless!

Our dinner was on a Monday, and hotels can have problems running short of supplies over a busy weekend. But a professional establishment would anticipate this, and if the worst happened, be honest and adjust the menu. I mean, why nominate fish pie as pie of the day if you haven't got any? Overall, the management of catering is slack and incompetent, leaving overworked staff like our marvellous young waiter to cope with impossible situations. The coaching inn hotel chain talks a good game via its slick website and brochures, but in this instance fell hopelessly short of living up to its own hype. A change of management is badly needed. Until that happens, my advice is to stay well away.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
4  Thank Geogger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (312)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

14 - 18 of 312 reviews

Reviewed 22 August 2017

Hard to criticise this place because reception and most of the rest of the staff were pleasant and eager to help. But the place was rammed on the Saturday afternoon we arrived and it took ages to find a car parking space. Ditto a seat in the bar. So we ate and drank elsewhere. A leaking loo in our room led to an unsolicited reduction in our bill and the room itself was fine. However, at breakfast, they ran out of scrambled egg so I asked a waitress to bring some more. No, she said, breakfast was over. Then two minutes later one of her colleagues brough out a batch of freshly-fried eggs. When I asked him how he managed to do this when the breakfast was over I was told I shouldn't have been told that. But still no scrambled. Minor quibble, but poor internal comms.

Thank bryanedwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017 via mobile

Visited on a Saturday evening for a few drinks. Took ages to get served at the bar even though two waiters standing there, then asked if wanted ice in glass for beer! Vodka was cheap. Awful atmosphere and left after one drink.

3  Thank Anna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017

We had an outstanding meal on a Sunday night. Many other restaurants close by required reservations and they were full. We walked right in. Our wait staff were very professional and helpful.
We listened to live music in the courtyard,we ordered lamb and also the cod dinners, followed by a coconut ice desert with a white chocolate sauce

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Shelagh000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017 via mobile

Absolutely dreadful.

Long wait.
Left without eating.
Chased our food twice with waitresses who were ill equipped for their roles.

Not been back.
Won't be back

1  Thank MyGenericName
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Three Swans Hotel also viewed

Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Been to The Three Swans Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing